HOYS groom’s blog: a trip to Windsor and sharing a bath

Ruth-Baxter.jpg

Today has been a loooong day at Moor Farm! The team are already gearing up for Saturday, when we have nine horses in the ring at Horse of the Year Show throughout the day.

An early start in anticipation of lots to do saw most of the yard mucked out, fed and watered in just over an hour, which freed Libby (one of the regular freelance grooms) and I up to ride.

Despite the intensive workload, today has featured one of my absolute favourite aspects of working at Moor Farm; a trip to Windsor Great Park with some of the horses. It’s a short lorry ride from the yard and another way to add variety to the workload. Going to the park also gives us the opportunity for a lovely canter in some glorious scenery, which can really help to improve the horses’ paces.

On returning from the park, I gave The Humdinger a bath, ready for his class tomorrow. Actually, it was probably more accurate to say that Dinger and I shared a bath, leaving me feeling rather soggy and rummaging in the back of my car for a change of top!

Scrubbing legs to a blingy white is a thankless task, and I really don’t envy those who are preparing traditional cobs for tomorrow with full feathers and tails! The show team will add a touch of chalk to his legs tomorrow to finish that ‘show ring’ look.

In the afternoon we tried to get a head start on tomorrow’s tasks by preparing show gear for the nine horses leaving. The HOYS stabling is on part of the NEC car park, so each horse has a set of bandages and pads to protect their legs. They may wear a light rug on the lorry, but will also need sufficient stable rugs to keep them comfortable overnight, so these are bagged up and sent with them. In addition, each horse needs a set of travel boots, two tail bandages (to cover the whole of the tail, preventing mess!) and a leather headcollar.

When I finally managed to climb into the shower this evening, I discovered that my impromptu bath earlier today had run the dye out of my jeans and has left my legs a fetching shade of blue. The only consolation I suppose is that it is my legs, not Dingers. He really would have qualified as a coloured horse then!

Ruth

Don’t miss our full report on all the action from Horse of the Year Show in next Thursday’s magazine, on sale 11 October, 2012

Originally published on horseandhound.co.uk